Wall Street Journal 2/16/16 3:20 p.m. ET
The broadside by Dave Schwartz and Justin Stevens of Americans for Prosperity (“Low Gas Prices Have Politicians Pumped to Raise Taxes,” op-ed, Feb. 6) is full of fervor but completely empty of any understanding of what’s been happening in the states.
Since 2013, 16 states—both red and blue—have increased taxes on motor fuel to support badly needed highway, bridge and public transit improvements. At least eight more are considering similar action in 2016. This isn’t a recent phenomenon attributable to lower gas prices.
Governors and state legislatures are taking these steps because they actually have to govern and provide solutions to mobility, traffic congestion and safety challenges facing motorists every day that are the result of years of chronic underinvestment in infrastructure. New investments in transportation are also critical to helping ensure U.S. economic growth and job creation.
Such efforts might not sit well with “never tax anything under any circumstances” special-interest groups like Americans for Prosperity. But the gas tax works because it is fiscally responsible, and the beneficiaries of the transportation system are the users who are paying for it.
- Peter Ruane, President & CEO, American Road & Transportation Builders Association, Washington